@Beau_Hindman: I will be switching to Uncharted Waters Online for a Rise and Shiny revisit. Sometimes I need to go back to games I've covered before to check up on how things are doing. UWO was neat before, and the new expansion is calling me back in. I'll also be doing a bit of MUDing, checking out The Secret World more, and playing World of Warcraft's freemium version for an article on freemium values.
I am honestly having a hard time remembering a specific game launch. So many of the games I cover now have "soft launches," so it's hard to say. I remember The Chronicles of Spellborn blowing me away, but it was buggy. I'd probably nominate Glitch simply because it did so much within the limits of a browser.
@nbrianna: City of Heroes for me. I subbed. I am weak. I can't resist the lure of Water Blast, which is coming next week.
Short answer: No. Long answer: I've seen studios release with a smooth technical launch but an unfinished game, and I've seen studios release awesome games under the shadow of pure technical clusterfudgery. I can't think of any that got both parts right. I shouldn't keep having high expectations, but I do anyway.
@Eliot_Lefebvre: There's going to be TERA, there's going to be Final Fantasy XIV, and there's even going to be some RIFT. And some Thunderstone and such. Maybe I'll play some Rock of Ages when I've got downtime.
Every game has met my expectations on launch. There's been at least one balance issue or technical issue. People have whined, people have whined at the people whining, and people have played the game. It's predictable, and I've never seen one go surprisingly wrong or unusually right.
@Jeremy_Stratton: Beau owes me countless hours of my life back for introducing me to Aardwolf. I've also started exploring others to get some meatier, richer storytelling, but Aardwolf is really fun for all the different features. I think it makes an excellent first MUD, too.
Has a launch ever lived up to my expectations? Yes. Some have even surpassed my expectations. I keep my expectations low.
@Sypster: Trying to balance Lord of the Rings Online, RIFT, and The Secret World -- and that's proving difficult. Loving all three for different reasons.
Many MMOs have met my expectations on launch day -- LotRO, RIFT, Warhammer Online, Guild Wars, The Secret World, to name a few. I think everyone expecting things to go so badly blinds us to what often goes so right.
@mvmatt: The Secret World for me, all day e'ry day. I'll be giving my brain a workout by tackling as many investigation missions as I can possibly get my hands on, and hopefully I'll have the opportunity to jump into my first dungeon, The Polaris. Since my preview of Hell Raised, I've been stoked to find out what other dungeons have to offer.
For the bonus question: Games live up to my expectations all the time, but they rarely live up to my hopes. Like most MMO gamers who have been through more than a few hype-cycles, I've taught myself to be a bit cynical and realistic when preparing for a new game, but there's always that part of me that looks at a new game and goes "Holy s**t that's going to be amazing! Look at all these features they're promising!" but inevitably, some of those features get altered or cut, and the game that releases is nothing like the one that I formed in my head. Which is, of course, what I expected, but it wasn't what I was hoping for.
Three guesses where I will be! The Secret World. There is so much to see and do still, and I haven't even started any of the real puzzle missions yet! I am having a hard time deciding between my Dragon and my Templar (she's a surprise entry to the mix, I just fell in love with her).
To be honest, I don't really have expectations for launches; I just go with the flow. I will enjoy what's there and won't stress about what's not. If the launch is really bad (like I can't manage to log in), history shows I just lose interest in playing the game. If features that I had really hoped for aren't in a game at launch, I usually know that beforehand, so that doesn't really count, does it?
@mackeypb: I'm playing League of Legends, surprise surprise! I picked up Udyr due to the skin sale and I've been working on jungling. I play an aggressive counter-jungle game, and I've had some success, but I'm hardly where I want to be. It's a very finesse job and takes a lot of practice.
Most MMO launches live up to my expectations, but that's because I'm very realistic about what I'm expecting when a game launches. I never expect a perfect game; I expect launch day lag, and I expect bugs because those are things that will happen in an MMO launch. It's somewhat rare for me to be disappointed in a game launch because I can tell from beta players' experiences, gameplay videos and numbers on the game whether I will like it or not with pretty solid accuracy. Even though I hate on Star Wars: The Old Republic a lot, I was not at all surprised to see its launch failings because I was anticipating most of them (and most of the things it did well) ahead of time. I think Guild Wars 2 will let me down, though; my bar is set pretty high, and it currently doesn't look like GW2 will meet it (not that GW2 will be bad, just that my expectations are probably too high).
@terilynns: I'll be back into Star Trek Online this weekend in order to get more comfortable with the UI for the fleet advancement system. I'll also be in Lord of the Rings Online a few times, I'm sure. I'll be trying to keep cool, however. The main well in our co-op failed yesterday, so we've all been put on extreme water conservation -- that means our swamp coolers are a no-go until the well can be fixed. Ah, life in the Southwest.
Since I've really only experienced one launch and had never played an MMO before Star Trek Online, it would be hard to say a launch didn't live up to expectations because I really didn't know what to expect. There's an advantage to having no expectations whatsoever.
At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!